Calgary-born, Toronto based artist Kayla Polan is a multidisciplinary artist working across traditional and new media. She graduated with Distinction from the Ontario College of Art & Design University with a BFA major in Drawing & Painting. Her practice melds feminism and popular culture to investigate contemporary ideas about sexuality, fetishism, domesticity, queer identity, autobiography, and consumer culture through painting, sculpture, printmaking, and performance. She has received multiple awards for her work, including the Spark Box Studio Emerging Artist Award. Her work has been exhibited in several group exhibitions in Canada and Europe.
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Kayla Polan (b. 1994, Calgary)
2016 Bachelor of Fine Art, Distinction, Major Drawing & Painting, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada
2015 Florence Off-Campus Studies Program, OCAD University, Florence, Italy
2017 Emerging Artist Residency Award, Spark Box Studio
2016 Anne Adler Kagan Award, OCAD University
2014 Aboveground Art Supplies Scholarship, OCAD University
2014 Sandy McQueen Memorial Scholarship, OCAD University
2013 Melville P. White Scholarship, OCAD University
2017 X, Y & Zed, Featured Exhibition of Nuit Blanche, Glory Hole Gallery, Toronto, ON
2017 Fermenting Feminism, Critical Distance Centre for Curators, Toronto, ON (on view until November 26)
2017 YYZ Lab Residency Open House, YYZ Artist's Outlet, Toronto, ON
2017 Works For Change, Screening & Exhibition of "This Art Works" by the Madeleine Co., Featured Artist in Episode 1, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON
2017 Vacancy, Bunker 2 Contemporary Art Container, Featured Exhibition for Nuit Rose Festival, Toronto, ON
2017 Embodied Resistance, Feminist Art Conference, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016 Political Candy, The Pendulum Project, Studio 223A, Toronto, ON
2016 This Is Not For You, 170 Spadina, Toronto, ON
2016 Feminist Art Conference Residency Open Studio, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto ON
2016 GradEx, 101st Annual Graduate Exhibition, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016 Festival of the Body, Annual Figure Exhibition, OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON
2016 Love Me Do, Yellow House Gallery, Toronto, ON
2016 Ryan Gander Nomadic Resident Student Exhibition, OCAD University Ada Slaight Gallery, Toronto, ON
2015 40, i nuovo 20 (Forties Are the New Twenties), OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON
2015 Nuit Rose, A Festival of Queer Art & Performance, The 519, Toronto, ON
2015 Prospettiva, OCAD University Studio, Florence, Italy
2015 B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Beamer), Angie's Pub, Florence, Italy
2015 Art Clash, California State University International Program, Florence, Italy
2014 Open Studio, OCAD University Studio, Florence, Italy
2014 Contrapuntal, Mayday Club, Florence, Italy
2013 iCiCiC, First Year Student Exhibition, OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON
2013 First Impressions, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2017 Emerging Artist Award Residency, Spark Box Studio, Picton, ON
2016-17 YYZ LAB Artist Residency, YYZ Artist Outlet, Toronto, ON
2016 Feminist Art Conference Residency, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto, ON
2016 Nomadic Residency with Ryan Gander, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016 GAL's Third Annual Auction, Girls Art League Art, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, ON
2016 Art Attack!, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Toronto, ON
2017 Tools, Toys, and Tricks of The Trade: Redefining the Domestic Sphere, Artist Talk & Panel Discussion, Feminist Art Conference, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016 We Are What We Fear: On WW2 Germany & the Systematic Oppression of Identity, Artist Talk, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2014 Research as Practice, Artist Talk, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2017 Faculty of Art, Class Assistant, Project Lead on Yorkville Village Arts Festival, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2017 In-House Graphic Designer, Blitz Print Lab, Toronto, ON
2016-17 Gallery Programming Committee Member, Lakeshore Arts, Toronto, ON
2016 Artist Assistant, Rebecca Belmore, Nuit Blanche, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
2016-17 Artist Assistant, Jennie Suddick, MFA, Toronto, ON
2016 Museum Attendant, Crazy Dames Exhibition, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON
2016 Events, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016 Events, Feminist Art Conference, Toronto, ON
2017 Canadian Art, “Must-Sees This Week: September 14 to 20, 2017", 2017
2017 Unframed NY, “Interview with Kayla Polan”, 2017
2017 Format Magazine, “20 Contemporary Painters With Gallery-Worthy Portfolios”, 2017
2017 CBC Arts, “This Art Works! ‘Doctors Against Intolerance’ and Normalizing BDSM with Sculptures”, 2017
2017 The Drake Blog, “Studio Visit With Akin Artist Kayla Polan", 2017
2017 Discount Magazine, Issue II, Food Edition, 2017
2017 Milkweed Zine, Issue III, Privacy and Visibility Issue, 2017
2017 Dirty Laundry, “50 Shades of Kayla Polan”, 2017
2016 Off the Wall Artists, “Off the Wall With Kayla Polan,” 2016
2016 The Pendulum Project, “A Conversation with Kayla Polan,” 2016
2016 OCAD University, Seek Forward, Drawing & Painting Fourth Year Catalogue, 2016
Kayla's painting "6 Tips on DIY Pickling & Other Cleaning Conundrums" is being exhibited at the Fermenting Feminism group show at Critical Distance in Toronto until November 26th. Fermenting Feminism was named a Must-See show by Canadian Art. A publication about the show, including an interview with Kayla, will be released following the show.
Kayla will be exhibiting new sculpture work at the Akin Vitrine Gallery in January 2018.
Kayla will be showcasing her work at the Artist Project, Toronto, in 2018 as part of the Untapped Emerging Artist Competition.
Kayla was invited to do a five week residency at Struts and Faucet in Sackville, NB from April-May 2018.
Kayla's print series "Always You!" is being debuted at 2/Edition, the Toronto International Art Book Fair, at both the Bunker2 and Akin Collective tables from October 27-30th.
Kayla's new work "Chaste Grater" is exhibited at the "X, Y and Zed" group show at Glory Hole Gallery in Toronto. This is a featured exhibition of Nuit Blanche.
Kayla was interviewed by Unframed NY in August.
After receiving the Spark Box Studio Emerging Artist Residency Award earlier in 2017 and completing a corresponding residency, Kayla decided to go back to Picton, Ontario for a second printmaking residency at Spark Box Studio in August.
The Madeleine Collective featured Kayla's work in Episode 1 of their series "This Art Works", in partnership with CBC Arts & OCAD University.
Participants of 2016/17 YYZ LAB Artist Residency exhibited at YYZ Artist Outlet at 401 Richmond in Toronto in July.
Kayla exhibited at Bunker 2 Gallery's group exhibition "Vacancy" June 8 - July 9 2017. This is a featured exhibition in the Nuit Rose Festival.
The Drake Art Blog visited Kayla at her studio for an interview about her work and the Akin Collective Pop Ups at The Drake Hotel, and The Drake 150.
As the recipient of the Sparkbox Studio Emerging Artist Residency Award 2017, Kayla finished a printmaking residency at Spark Box Studio in Picton, Canada.